Part of why I love to travel is because I love learning about different cities and cultures, but I also love learning about the people who lived in those cities.
This would include Elvis Presley.
I realized after I saw Zombieland Doubletap last weekend that I never wrote about my experience at the King’s mansion while I was in Memphis in April.
Why would a horror-comedy remind me of Graceland, you ask? They travel there in the movie, only to find it grown over and abandoned. However, they find a small replica down the road belonging to Rosario Dawson.
In case you don’t know who “The King” is, I’m referring to Elvis.
On my first morning in Memphis, I took an Uber ride down to Graceland. The driver was kind enough to give me an inside tip: take a photo in front of the front gates and sign the wall! He actually pulled over in front of the main gates and took my photo for me. They don’t take you to the front of the mansion on the regular tour, so make sure to stop by before or after on your own!
The whole process of getting onto a tour is a little confusing, but the building you have to enter isn’t anywhere near the mansion. After purchasing your ticket, you’ll board a tram that will take you across the street, down the road, and up a long driveway to Graceland.
Everyone is given an iPad with headphones. On the iPads are guided tours around the mansion and the grounds narrated by none other than Uncle Jessie himself, John Stamos. I did not expect that and I absolutely loved hearing his voice guide me every step of the way.
After you disembark the tram, you’re free to tour the mansion and the surrounding grounds for as long as you want, all while guided by the melodic voice of Uncle Jesse.
I have to admit, I don’t really know anything about Elvis, nor am I really a fan, but I was in Memphis so I thought: When in Memphis! Since I’d likely never have the opportunity to see Gracie Mansion again.
I’m glad I went, though, because I learned a lot about Elvis. He had a meditation garden, too, which I thought was really neat. I also loved the ranch part of his house. And the Jungle Room? Not in my home ever, but it was a really cool looking space. As was the mirror-covered staircase and basement den.
I was, however, shocked at how small the mansion was. It’s the size of a McMansion that you’d be nowadays. But I guess in the ’50s, it was considered huge. It also only cost $102,000! (And it’s worth $55 million today.) However, the surrounding property that the house is on is vast!
Overall, it was a neat, once in a lifetime experience. I’m glad I spent the time and the money and Elvis is a little bit more of a person now to me than he was before – not just this name that I’d heard about all my life.
If you want to take your own tour, tickets can be purchased here.